Local resident’s have been forced to take their lives in their hands and measure the width of Amlets Lane themselves.

Safety concerns regarding increased traffic levels on this narrow rural road have been highlighted again and again by residents. Now as building on the site for 125 dwellings by Cala Homes draws nearer, heavy construction traffic is forefront in the minds of local residents.

It has been said time and time again that the road is simply not wide enough to allow for two HGVs to pass and residents are extremely worried about safety on this road.

Transport Assessments submitted against the planning application have failed to record width measurements along the lane. However, a recent email published against the application from Richard Cooper, Senior Transportation Development Planning Officer at Surrey County Council to Waverley Planning Officer Jennifer Samuelson, has provided an official width guideline required for two goods vehicles to pass:

From: Richard Cooper
Sent: Wednesday 22 June 2016 12:30
To: Jennifer Samuelson
Subject: Re: WA/2016/0517: Amlets LAne
Hi Jen,
Thanks for your email.
The main access road into the site measures 5.5m wide. Mfs guidance states that this width is sufficient to allow two goods vehicles to pass. As a general rule a 5.5m wide single access can serve up to 300 dwellings, with parking on one side of the road.
The secondary roads within the site have a width of 4.8m. This width is sufficient to allow a car to pass a goods vehicle.
Finally there are some roads proposed serving only a small number of houses or a parking area, measuring 4.1m in width. These roads will only be used by cars, and this width is sufficient to allow two cars to pass.
I confirm therefore that the proposed road widths are acceptable on highway safety grounds.
Hope this helps,
Richard Cooper
Senior Transportation Development Planning Officer
Surrey County Council [our emphasis]

This email promoted two local residents to don high-vis vests and armed with their measuring tape they took width measurements at various points along Amlets Lane, thus finally dispelling the myth that the lane is wide enough for two HGVs to pass.

The following email was subsequently sent to Richard Cooper and Jennifer Samuelson on  11 July 2016:

Having studied your response of 22/06/2016 to Ms Samuelson’s query with respect to road widths I noticed that a road of 5.5m width is sufficient to allow two HGVs to pass. At the site meeting of interested parties two days before the Joint Planning Committee Meeting which approved Outline Planning Consent two HGVs did in fact get stuck near to the proposed entrance to the site.

As a metrologist in my pre-retirement life, I believe in measurement. To that end my wife and I set out to measure the width of Amlets Lane at 5 points. Our start point was the entrance to the triangle at the eastern end of Amlets Lane. Only one measurement gave a width of greater than 5.5m (where part of the verge had been removed when the Lane was resurfaced in 2013) while, by the entrance to Hilliards House the maximum width SCC can claim is 4.8m. As we were unsure of the definition of “Road Width” we measured to the outside of the white lines (W) AND to the very edge of the bitumen (B).

The measurements were as follows:

Distance from origin(miles) Description Measurement (W) (B) (both metres)
> 0.1 By gate leading to Amlets Hill 5.33 5.63
> 0.2 By development entrance 4.87 5.32*
> 0.3 By gate to Amlets Cottage 4.70 5.30
> 0.4 By gate to Dower House 4.83 5.08+
> 0.5 By gate to Hilliards House 4.30 4.80+

 * Room to widen when entrance is laid, + By outward-leaning wall – no room to widen

The distance from origin was measured using the car odometer, which is clearly imprecise over such short distances, and so a description of the measurement point is included. The measurement points were, of necessity, taken where it was possible to park at least partially off the road for safety reasons. I am not sure of your evidence base but there is clearly a major issue here.

Your estimate of the road width would appear to be completely inaccurate and misleading. If this is not corrected it could constitute gross negligence.

I have forwarded this information to Ms Samuelson so I am sure that she will be as interested as I to hear your comments.

The Cranleigh Society has also emailed Richard Cooper and submitted residents’ photos of vehicles causing an obstruction along Amlets Lane as further evidence of this serious problem.

A resident sent this photo in on 20 July 2016 of a low loader stuck in Amlets Lane yet again causing long tailbacks and delays.

Amlets Lane Low Loader 20-07-16

Amlets Lane 20 July 2016

Please keep sending in your stories and photos, this provides clear evidence that we pass on to the relevant authorities.


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